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Acting means that you can pretend to do anything, with filmmaking supporting the actor’s aspirations by making it look possible. When it comes to writer/director Paul Downs Colaizzo’s indie dramedy Brittany Runs A Marathon, the big feat is telling the extremely realistic story of Jillian Bell’s Britney Forgler taking on that 26.2 mile monster.
Outside of the practical movie magic that made it look like Bell ran the entire race, the question of how she and her fellow castmates would do in the event itself was one I had to ask when sitting down with them on behalf of CinemaBlend. And during the film’s press day, ambitions ran the gamut as the cast answered this question, which you can watch in their responses below:
The more sensible spectrum of answers came from Jillian Bell and Utkarsh Ambudkar, who put themselves in the range of three-to-four miles run. It’s a perfectly human goal that speaks volumes of their individual attitudes, as they gave those responses without any knowledge of the other's.
Meanwhile, it all came down to a simple pass/fail equation with co-stars Michaela Watkins and Micah Stock, as Watkins said she’d totally finish if she paid her way in, and Stock said he’d probably not make it. His doubt came from equating running a marathon to walking out of a movie, so maybe he could do better under the right circumstances.
Perhaps the funniest answers, though, were from the room with writer/director Paul Downs Colaizzo, who was ready to playfully spite Ambudkar’s goal by saying he’d go one mile more just to win. But that was right before Lil Rel Howery, who’s also getting ready to return to the screen in the prank comedy Bad Trip, swore that he not only was serious about training for a marathon after working on Brittany Runs A Marathon, but that he could also do 10 miles easy.
Questioning the exact conditions was a fun move, as everything from food choice to amount of training and race fees came up when I posed this hypothetical scenario. But the reason this query was given to the entire cast was because of something I’d learned from Jillian Bell while I attended this film’s junket.
As it turns out, the star of such oddball comedies as Rough Night said that Brittany Runs A Marathon is the first actual film to be given access to the actual New York Marathon. Meaning that when you see her running the marathon during various points in the film, that’s the real deal there. So when she says she’d go three miles, it’s totally believable; much like her ability to pretend to love Channing Tatum or to help hide the body of an accidentally murdered male stripper. It’s all about versatility in this business, folks.
In the end though, the same lessons that Brittany Runs A Marathon teaches its audience were the one that I walked away with after asking these questions to its cast. It doesn’t matter how or where you finish, but that you did it in the first place; and everyone has their own pace to victory.
That being said, if anyone’s interested in seeing Lil Rel Howery and Michaela Watkins square off in a race to see who’s the toughest runner, you should throw your vote of support behind Brittany Runs A Marathon when it opens in limited release this Friday. Though if the film isn’t in your market by then, don’t worry; the wide release roll out is scheduled for September 13.